Dementia treatment using natural and alternative therapies, diet, food, supplements and vitamins
July 23 2014 by
Ray Sahelian, M.D.,

Definition of Dementia -  it is defined as a loss of intellectual abilities such as memory capacity, severe enough to interfere with social or occupational functioning or customary daily living. When this intellectual loss occurs in as a cause of major depression or schizophrenia, it is not called dementia. Customary daily living activities" include balancing the checkbook, keeping house, driving the car, involvement in social activities, and working at one's usual occupation. There may also be changes in personality and emotions. Dementia is not necessarily a normal outcome of aging, but is caused by diseases that affect the brain. This brain deterioration influences all aspects of mind and behavior, including memory, judgment, language, concentration, visual perception, temperament, and social interactions. Although symptoms are eventually obvious to everyone, in the early stages special evaluations are necessary to demonstrate the cognitive abnormalities.

Dementia treatment with alternative medication, natural supplements
Natural prevention or treatment for dementia is possible but depends largely on the cause and lowering blood pressure with dietary supplements, food, diet and exercise can be of great help. If no serious medical causes are found, several natural supplements could be helpful, including vitamin B complex, ginkgo biloba and Mind Power Rx. At this time modern medicine does not have effective medications for dementia, however natural supplements should certainly be considered. Exercise can reduce the risk for dementia. Older adults who regularly walk for exercise may help lower their risk of vascular dementia, the second-most common form of this disorder after Alzheimer's disease.

 A program that emphasizes healthy eating, brain and social engagement, physical activity and heart health slows brain degeneration.

Mind Power Rx improves cognitive function. It combines a delicate balance of brain circulation agents and neurotransmitter precursors with powerful natural brain chemicals that support healthy:

Memory and Mood
Mental clarity
Concentration 
Alertness and Focus

The herbs in this brain formula are: Ashwagandha, Bacopa, Fo-Ti, Ginkgo biloba, Ginseng, Mucuna pruriens, and Reishi.  The nutrients and vitamins in Mind Power Rx include Acetyl carnitine, Carnitine, Carnosine, Choline, DMAE, Inositol, Methylcobalamin, Pantothenic acid, Trimethylglycine, Tyrosine, and Vinpocetine.

Benefit of B vitamins
An encouraging study shows regular use of B vitamins reduces brain shrinkage in seniors with memory problems and slows the progression towards dementia. Scientists from Oxford University said their two-year clinical trial was the largest to date into the effect of B vitamins mild cognitive impairment. David Smith of Oxford's department of pharmacology, says. "It is our hope that this simple and safe treatment will delay development of Alzheimer's in many people who suffer from mild memory problems." Mild cognitive impairment does not usually interfere with daily life, but many people diagnosed with it go on to develop the far more severe Alzheimer's disease within several years. David Smith and colleagues conducted a two-year trial with 168 volunteers with MCI who were given either a vitamin pill containing high doses of folic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12, or a placebo dummy pill. The pills, called TrioBe Plus contained around 300 times the recommended daily intake of B12, four times daily advised folate levels and 15 times the recommended amount of B6. Brain scans were taken at the beginning and the end of the trial to monitor the rate of brain shrinkage, or atrophy. On average the brains of those taking TrioBe Plus treatment shrank at a rate of 0.76 percent a year, while those taking the dummy pill had an average brain shrinkage of 1.08 percent. People who had the highest levels of homocysteine at the start of the trial benefited the most from the treatment. Those people who had lowest rates of shrinkage had the highest scores in mental tests. PLoS One, 2010.

Multicentre study of l-alpha-glyceryl-phosphorylcholine vs ST200 among patients with probable senile dementia of Alzheimer's type.
Drugs Aging. 1993.
The results showed significant improvements in most neuropsychological parameters of dementia in the alpha GPC recipients. Improvements in dementia also occurred in the ST200 recipients but to a lesser extent. Tolerability was good in both groups.

Lifestyle factors
As with heart disease and other illnesses, lifestyle factors are key to preventing the risk of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. Risk predictors in middle age that could identify people more likely to suffer this mental deterioration in later life include low level of education, raised blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, obesity and lack of exercise, which are similar to risk factors for heart disease and strokes.
   Older men and women with chronic emotional distress or depression are more likely to develop this mental deterioration. However, distress is not related to the plaques, tangles and other brain changes that mark Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.
   Elders who work crossword puzzles, play cards, partake in artistic and organizational activities, and attend movie or theater productions reduce their risk for dementia.  Doing brain-stimulating activities from childhood -- like reading books, writing letters and solving everyday problems -- through old age reduces clinical signs of memory loss.
   Alzheimerís disease or similar memory-related diseases are much more common in football players due to repeated concussions from tackling or being tackled. Mild but repeated head trauma could hurt the brain years later.
   People who smoke or who have high blood pressure or diabetes in middle age are more likely to develop this neurological condition.
   A study in a 2014 edition of Neurology, the journal of the American Academy of Neurology, found that cynical people have a higher likelihood of developing dementia.

Risk factors in teens
Alcohol intoxication, stroke, use of antipsychotic drugs, depression, drug abuse, a father with dementia, poor mental function as a teen, being short and having high blood pressure are risk factors in teens that could lead to future early onset mental decline. Aug. 12, 2013, JAMA Internal Medicine, online.

Exercise
Walking a few miles a week may be one thing people can do to keep their brains from shrinking. A study of nearly 300 people in Pittsburgh who kept track of how much they walked each week showed that those who walked at least six miles had less age-related brain shrinkage than people who walked less.

Diet and dementia
Those who eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and fish, and have a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids have a lower risk of developing dementia than those whose diets do not include these healthy food choices.

Green tea and dementia help
People who regularly drink green tea may have a lesser risk as they grow older. A study of more than 1,000 Japanese adults in their 70s and beyond, found that the more Green-Tea men and women drank, the lower their odds of having cognitive impairment. The findings build on evidence from lab experiments showing that certain compounds in green tea may protect brain cells from the damaging processes that mark dementia conditions like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. But while those studies were carried out in animals and test tubes, the new research appears to be the first to find a lower risk of mental decline among green tea drinkers. The possible protective effects of green tea may help explain one reason for Japan's lower rate of dementia, particularly Alzheimer's disease, compared with Europe and North America.

Vitamin C and E supplements do not seem to prevent dementia when used for only a few years
Dr. Shelly L. Gray of the University of Washington, Seattle followed 2,969 adults, 65 years of age or older, for an average of 5 years to determine if the use of Vitamin-E or C supplements influenced the risk of dementia or Alzheimer's disease. There was no relationship between vitamin supplements and dementia risk.
   Comments: It does not appear that the use of vitamin E and C supplements, when taken for a few years, has a significant influence on the risk of dementia in older individuals. It is not clear whether lifelong use could make a difference. The study was not done in a careful manner. The researchers did not differentiate users in terms of what type of vitamin E supplements were used, whether synthetic, natural, and whether the natural vitamin E included a full spectrum of tocopherols. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 2008.

Hypertension and dementia
High blood pressure treatment in old hypertensive subjects may offer some benefit against dementia and cognitive decline. However, there may be risks to hypertension treatment with potent drugs, and caution is advised to use drugs that are safe and do not cause significant side effects.

Vision problems
Elderly adults with poor vision, particularly untreated vision problems, have a higher risk of developing dementia than those with better vision.

Drugs, medications for dementia
There is no effective drug cure for dementia and many of the medications are being prescribed without evidence. Drugs for dementia currently marketed include cholinesterase inhibitors -- Pfizer and Eisai Co Inc's Aricept; Galantamine, sold generically and under the brand names Razadyne, Reminyl and Nivalin; rivastigmine, sold by Novartis AG under the brand name Exelone; and tacrine, marketed to combat Alzheimer's disease under the brand name Cognex. The fifth drug, memantine, is known as a neuropeptide-modifying agent and is sold by Forest Laboratories under the brand name Namenda.

Q. My 86 year old mother is on the Exelon patch for early stage dementia. Can she take MindPower as well? Is it a possible substitute for this pharmaceutical?
   A. We prefer mind power rx and Exelon not be taken the same day, it is very difficult for us to predict whether mind power will substitute for Exelon but if her doctor agrees she can try half a capsule a day in the morning.

2009 - "Anti-psychotics are used too often in dementia," says Sube Banerjee, professor of mental health and aging at the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London.  Neil Hunt, chief executive of Britain's Alzheimer's Society says that anti-psychotics "should only ever be used as a last resort". Anti-psychotic drugs include generic treatments like thioridazine, chlorpromazine, haloperidol, trifluorperazine and Johnson & Johnson's Risperdal, Eli Lilly and Co's Zyprexa, and Seroquel, made by AstraZeneca, which are among the top-selling drugs worldwide.Such medicines have increasingly been used to treat the personality changes and aggression often associated with dementia, an incurable brain disease that worsens over time and whose most common form is Alzheimer's disease.

Dementia Drugs in UK
Memory clinics and drugs to slow the progress of symptoms of Alzheimer's disease are diverting resources in Britain's state-funded health services from high quality integrated care. Cholinesterase inhibitors have been recommended by the country's cost-effectiveness watchdog, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), for patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease since 2001. But psychiatrist Anthony Pelosi of the Hairmyres Hospital in East Kilbride, Scotland and his colleagues said memory clinics that were set up to prescribe and monitor the medicines have distorted clinical priorities. The dementia drugs, which cost about 1,000 pounds ($1,907) per patient per year, have turned out to be of marginal benefit from statistical, clinical and public health perspectives. Pfizer Inc and Eisai Co's Aricept; Novartis AG's Exelon; and Reminyl, made by Johnson & Johnson and distributed in Britain by Shire Pharmaceuticals are leading cholinesterase inhibitors.

Prevalence
Dementia is reported in as many as 1% of adults 60 years of age and older. It has been estimated that the frequency of dementia doubles every five years after 60 years of age.
   High-complexity jobs that primarily involve work with people or things are associated with a reduced risk of developing dementia.

Dementia symptom and sign
Criteria for the diagnosis include impairment of attention, orientation, memory, judgment, language, motor and spatial skills, and function.

Type of dementia
Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia
Alcoholic - alcohol
Lewy body dementia  - lewey body
Multi infarct
Vascular
Senile

Cause of dementia
In people over the age of 65, the most common cause is Alzheimer's disease. The causes include various diseases and infections, strokes, head injuries, drugs, and nutritional deficiencies. Prescription drugs as a cause of dementia are more common that doctors realize.
   Older people who are very thin or are losing weight quickly are at increased risk of developing dementia, especially if they started out overweight or obese.
   Men who have had a vasectomy may face an increased risk of developing a rare type of dementia marked by a steady loss of language skills. Researchers at Northwestern University in Illinois, writing in the journal Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology, linked this male sterilization surgery to a neurological condition called primary progressive aphasia, or PPA.

Drugs that cause or accelerate the onset of dementia
Common medicines used to treat depression, Parkinsonís disease and allergies can produce side effects that can lead to cognitive decline and be mistaken for early dementia. These drugs, known as anticholinergics, can cause confusion, memory loss and disorientation. People who use anticholinergic drugs have poorer cognitive performance. Anticholinergic drugs are prescribed to relieve tremors, muscle stiffness, weakness, anxiety, incontinence and sleep problems. The cholinergic system consists of neurotransmitters that regulate a good amount of mental functioning, particularly related to memory. 
   Antipsychotic medication to manage dementia related behavioral or psychological symptoms is associated with increased risk of death.
   Older adults taking psychiatric medications such as the benzodiazepines Valium or Xanax are at increased risk. These medications are used to treat symptoms of anxiety and sleep disorders.
   Antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are associated with an increased risk of falls in nursing home residents.

Questions
My husband was diagnosed with dementia 5 years ago, We went to several doctors and a nutritionist, but we haven't seen any improvement. Would Mind Power Rx help with his memory?
   It is difficult to predict the response or dosage of any supplement in any one individual, but, if his doctor approves, he can begin with one Mind Power Rx capsule with breakfast and then his doctor can monitor him.

Q. I am seeking help and information for my wife. She has a diagnosis of Lewy Body dementia. She has had this dementia diagnosis for 2 years and has been going down hill faster now. I have been trying to come up with a supplement package to give what help we can get. She is on Exelon 4.5(patch) Namenda 10mg 2x a day. We are on curcumin 2000 mg Mega-dha 4000 mg, Her medications are mobic 15 mg, and citalopram 10mg, nexium 40 mg, and l-thyroxine 100mg. What suggestion can you give for additional supplements? I know that no Lewy body dementia cure is out there, but seeking all efforts possible to slow down the process. It has been very difficult to find a Dr. who thinks outside of the box.
   A. As of October 2008, I am not familiar with the use of natural supplements specifically for Lewy body dementia, however there is some info on dementia on this page that could be useful. Also, it is difficult to predict the interactions of supplements and medications. Exelon (rivastigmine tartrate) is a reversible cholinesterase inhibitor. Namenda (memantine hydrochloride) is an orally active NMDA receptor antagonist.

Regarding the Mind Power Rx, have you had any feedback from people who show signs of dementia, that there is any help?
    Dementia is caused by many factors, some that respond to nutritional supplements, other forms that do not. This mind enhancing formula does provide important nutrients that help with cognitive function in many users.